Canadian coach Herdman sees more positives after reviewing video of Brazil loss - InfoNews

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Canadian coach Herdman sees more positives after reviewing video of Brazil loss

June 05, 2016 - 2:45 PM

TORONTO - The sun rose after Canada's 2-0 loss to Brazil in Saturday's international women's soccer friendly, albeit only after a torrential downpour.

And coach John Herdman was seeing more positives in the cool light of day. But he was still disappointed at the result.

"That's twice I've turned up to Toronto — they've filled the house and we've shipped five goals and given the fans nothing he said," he said Sunday. "That was my big frustration."

The Canadian women were beaten 3-0 by the U.S. last time out at BMO Field in June 2013.

Canada, ranked 10th in the world, and No. 8 Brazil meet again Tuesday at Ottawa's TD Place. While Herdman will no doubt change up his squad, it will be an interesting test of what his team learned from Saturday's loss to a quality Brazilian side.

Brazilian star Marta scored both goals Saturday, punishing a pair of mistakes by Canada.

"I felt we shut a lot of what the Brazilians did down," said Herdman. "They rarely broke us down. Their influential players didn't get the ball too often and they hurt us in transition. So it was a really sound defensive performance."

"And we actually created more than them," he added.

The Canadians outshot Brazil 9-7 (5-3 in shots on target) and sent in 13 crosses to Brazil's five. Statistically it was a far better performance that the Algarve Cup final in March, when Canada beat Brazil 2-1.

The two goals aside, Canadian 'keeper Stephanie Labbe made one save Saturday — a fine stop with her foot.

"And outside of that there wasn't a great deal," Herdman said. "So the doom-and-gloom component is just not being able to give those people in Toronto who turn out time and time and time again a goal. And that's all you want to give them."

Despite a nervy start, Herdman says Canada achieved most of its tactical goals. But not all.

The "keep Marta quiet" blueprint failed twice with costly consequences

In the 11th minute, bad things happened after Sophie Schmidt gave away the ball in the Brazilian end. Centre back Kadeisha Buchanan went down at the sideline trying to break up a play, allowing Beatriz to race down the flank. Allysha Chapman misplayed the ball, which bounced to Marta who took full advantage from close range.

"A routine clearance in the box and (Chapman) falls over," Herdman said.

Marta scored again via a long-range shot in the 41st after Janine Beckie was dispossessed in midfield. Buchanan gave Marta too much room and the Brazilian star used it to hammer a left-footed shot though Buchanan's legs and past Labbe from outside the penalty box.

"Kadeisha will want that one back, for sure," said Herdman.

So will Labbe.

"The players are holding their hands up to that," he said.

Herdman pointed to youngsters Nichelle Prince, Deanne Rose, Ashley Lawrence and Jessie Fleming as positives. But he was blunt post-game when asked about Labbe, who has taken over as No. 1 from the injured Erin McLeod. The 29-year-old Labbe, who earned her 29th cap, had some shaky moments early on.

Herdman said while he wanted to keep the faith, he may have to assess his goalkeeping options.

"As a coach, you've got to make a big decision here. Do you keep pushing or do you keep the fight open and see who will respond well?"

With McLeod out well past the Olympics and Sabrina D'Angelo nursing a fractured wrist, the other option is 20-year-old Kailen Sheridan, who has one cap.

Herdman noted "there wasn't a clear winner" for the starting job between Labbe and D'Angelo during the Algarve Cup in March.

The comments, while perhaps born out of frustration in the aftermath of the loss, are surprising given his belief that goalkeepers perform better when they know the job is their's.

Like the team in front of her, Labbe improved in the second half. She made a big save, took charge on a corner and distributed the ball well with long kicks. But the uncertain start that saw her stick to her line rather than take charge only served to remind viewers just how McLeod, one of the world's best 'keepers in Herdman's view, commands her penalty box with an icy cool.

Still expect Labbe to start again Tuesday with Herdman looking to bolster her confidence.

Bronze medallists four years ago in London, Canada wraps up its pre-Olympic schedule with a game July 23 against No. 3 France in Auxerre. The Canadians will play a closed-door game against No. 12 China while in France.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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